Editorial: Groups urged to apply for Culture Trust funds by Nov. 1

October 5, 2011

Fine art, wrote John Ruskin, "is that in which the hand, the head and the heart go together."

This community routinely puts hands, heads, and hearts together, along with our wallets, via the Hood River Cultural Trust.

Now comes the payoff for the community's ongoing support of art, literature, dance, music, and other expressions of ourselves.

Coalition members are urging local people and organizations working to preserve, provide access to, and otherwise enhance culture to consider applying for a Cultural Trust grant.

The Coalition will be accepting grant applications requesting funding for culturally significant projects benefiting Hood River County this fall. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1, 2011, for projects operating in 2012.

The Oregon Cultural Trust program is a gift from the Oregon Legislature. The Trust was created by the legislature in 2001 to help build a permanent endowment fund to support Oregon's nonprofit arts, heritage, and humanities organizations, and to provide grants to improve public participation in cultural endeavors and reward excellence in the field.

Guidelines for the grants and application, answers to frequently asked questions and much more information about the local Cultural Trust program may be found at the Hood River Cultural Trust website, www.hoodriverculturaltrust.org.

Funding for the grants comes from the Oregon Cultural Trust. While the amount available varies from year to year, the Hood River Cultural Trust Coalition has generally had between $5,000 and $10,000 annually to distribute.

The Hood River Cultural Trust has provided grants for numerous projects over the years - many of them from the fields of art or music. The Coalition is especially interested in having more heritage and humanities projects submitted for consideration.

Among projects or organizations provided with grants in Hood River County in recent years are the Gorge Music Series, Columbia Gorge Community College's Spring Humanities Series, the Japanese Heritage Garden, Columbia Arts, The Fruit Foundation Historical Society, Nuestra Comunidad Sana, Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, Columbia Gorge Arts in Education and Klahre House.

Publicly supported art in Hood River County frequently yields works that truly reflect what is important in this part of the world. An example is shown above, from last month's show at Columbia Art Gallery, a painting of Stark Crimson pears, by Mark Larsen, engaging head, hands and heart in depicting local agriculture.

Here's how the Trust works:

Taxpayers make a donation to a supported Oregon cultural nonprofit, then an equal contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

A dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the gift to the Trust can then be claimed on the Oregon state income tax return (up to $500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples filing jointly and $2,500 for Oregon corporations). This goes back into a fund that is distributed among all 36 counties.

A list of qualifying Oregon cultural nonprofit organizations, and complete information about the cultural trust program, tax credits, and methods for making donations is available at the Oregon Cultural Trust website, www.culturaltrust.org.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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